The Department of Telecom will make it mandatory for cell phone manufacturers and retail outlets to display radiation emission levels, starting 1st September 2012, reports The Economic Times. The report cites department officials to inform that handset makers, mobile phone companies and tower companies will be informed about the deadline before the end of April.

The radiation level of a handset is measured by specific absorption rate (SAR) which is essentially the amount of radiation absorbed by the skin during the use of the handset. As per the new mandate, the SAR value, will have to be specified on the device, its user manual, the box, in addition to the websites of both the handset manufacturer and the telecom department. According to the report, the new rules also make it compulsory for all handsets to be sold with a hands free device, in a bid to reduce the level of exposure to radiation.

The report mentions that under the new emission rules, cellphones can be imported and sold in India only if the SAR level is below 1.6 watts per kg (W/kg). Currently, India follows European norms, permitting import of handsets with an SAR of 2W/Kg or less. The new norms also prescribe radiation levels for cell phone towers at 1/10th of current levels.

With inputs from Aman Rai